Marie Caltrider, Board of Directors Chairperson of the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates (PACF) announced that its Board has honored its longest-serving Executive Director, Judy Sjostedt Ritchie, with the title, Executive Director, Emerita. Sjostedt Ritchie returns to private industry in July to assume a key leadership role with family businesses, as she and her husband focus on community and economic development in Ravenswood.
Caltrider said, “Judy has devoted her life’s work to the PACF and our region’s betterment—our Board is deeply grateful. She’s done an outstanding job of leading this Foundation for twenty-four years with integrity and compassion. Judy leaves the PACF in a strong financial position with a capable team ready to build upon the wonderful philanthropic impact that our donors make possible. We’ve carefully planned for this major transition; Fred Rader is advancing to Executive Director. Fred has worked closely with Judy and is well-prepared to step into this important next role.”
The fifth Executive Director in PACF’s 60-year history, Sjostedt Ritchie said, “In every organization, there comes a time to pass the baton, so the work continues smoothly forward. It’s been an incredible privilege to have served our donors, grantees, and community. I have great hope as I move on—a community foundation is much more than any one person. The PACF is a diverse community of many good people who envision that in working together, we can build thriving communities whose people are welcoming, engaged, and resilient.”
Under her tenure, PACF achieved tremendous growth, enhancing its sustainability and professionalism. The PACF will celebrate Sjostedt Ritchie’s service and Rader’s new role at its 60th Anniversary reception, Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, at the Parkersburg Art Center.
Since arriving in June 1999, Sjostedt Ritchie’s legacy of positive impact includes:
- Growing assets from $7.6 million to $80 million in partnership with PACF’s donors.
- Substantially increasing its annual grant-making capacity from $341,957 to $3.6 million.
- Distributing $47 million of total grants.
- Ensuring PACF was among the first accredited under the National Standards for Community Foundations in 2006, maintaining continuous accreditation since, and receiving “clean and unqualified” annual audits.
- Securing PACF’s first permanent headquarters at 1620 Park Avenue; remaining debt-free and developing operating, building and technology reserves.
- Establishing PACF’s competitive edge over the commercial gift funds; transforming it from solely a trust enterprise to a corporate model venture.
- While rapidly expanding, holding annual operating costs to an average of 1.2% of assets.
- Successfully navigating PACF through a global pandemic and economic volatility.
- Cultivating regional philanthropy with three permanent affiliate foundations thriving within PACF serving Doddridge, Ritchie, and the Little Kanawha Area (Calhoun, Gilmer, and Wirt) counties and a Lewis County area fund initiated; with three others originating under PACF, operating independently in Pleasants, Jackson and Mason counties.
- Launching the Civic Leaders Fellowship, now in its 12th year, employing 140 students, retaining 70% of graduates within 3-hours’ drive radius of PACF, and delivering a $32 return on investment for each donor $1 supplied (per Ohio University study).
- Introducing Give Local MOV, raising over $2.5 million since 2014 for area nonprofits.
- Establishing a national reputation for leadership, having served on the Council on Foundations Community Foundations Leadership Team, as a Center for Community Foundations Excellence educator, and conference presenter.
- Spearheading statewide philanthropy as founding Board Chair for the WV Grantmakers Association (now Philanthropy WV) revitalization under the WV Community Foundations Consortium.
- Building a diverse, highly competent regional Board of Directors and enlisting 200-plus volunteers annually.
- Receiving numerous accolades for PACF, among the most notable being the 2019 Secretary of Housing and Urban Development’s Award for Public Private Partnerships from Dr. Ben Carson and multiple WV Governor’s Awards for Volunteerism and Service.
Sjostedt Ritchie said, “The PACF is a constant work in progress. The good faith intentions of many people, past and present, are always shaping its growth, transforming its role in response to the changing needs of different generations. I encourage everyone to work with the PACF so that our region can look forward to a more promising future. I will forever cherish having served in this role.”